13
Nov
08

Television: ‘The First Australians’ SBS TV Australia

November 2008

 

A wonderful, long overdue documentary series on SBS television about the history of ‘Terra Nullius’, the white occupation of lands through the persecutions, massacres and genocide enacted upon the Aboriginal population.

Although some of the ‘academic’ comment lacks balance this can hardly be blamed.

As an Englishman who is now an Australian I feel deep shame over the actions of my predecessors and empathy towards those whose civilisation was uprooted. And so it continues …

In episode 3 the nobleness of the Aboriginal leader Barak broke my heart:

“And may the Lord bless you sir,
and give you good knowledge.”

.
he wrote to his persecutors.

After his son had died
After the promises had been broken.

.
There is a moment in Greek tragedy when the hero realises all he knows is untrue: peripateum.

Barak must have had such a moment and he returned to his people and his cultural roots, in the last years of his life painting his memories: alive, wonderful, moving.

Vale

 

 

First Australians on SBS

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Dr Marcus Bunyan

Dr Marcus Bunyan is an Australian artist and writer. His work explores the boundaries of identity and place. He writes the Art Blart blog which reviews exhibitions in Melbourne, Australia and posts exhibitions from around the world. He has a Dr of Philosophy from RMIT University, Melbourne and is currently studying a Master of Art Curatorship at The University of Melbourne.

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